“Capernaum” (2018)

An instance where a film thinks it’s more insightful than it actually is. Most of the film is just boring, uninteresting scenes, that ultimately amount to very little or even to nothing at all. The characterization is very skimp, and it’s very emotionally manipulative, desperately trying to make you cry, but without feeling earned. The film’s direction is competent, but very standard, and the performances are alright, but nothing great. There are so many other better films that deal with similar concepts of following young kids being forced to deal with hellhole environments, like The Florida Project, Lion, and Moolaadé. The idea of a kid suing his parents for bringing him into this world is interesting, but it barely factors into the narrative, instead primarily saving it for the film’s final 10-15 minutes, but by that time it’s too little too late. It’s not awful, but it’s nowhere near good enough to warrant the surprising amount of praise it’s received. It’s tearjerker porn that insists that’s sad and meaningful, instead of actually being sad and meaningful. Also, the film’s ending has a definite pro-eugenics subtext. Make of that what you will.

Rating: 2.5/5

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